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Showing posts from June, 2018

Wooden Heart

The grove of trees was secluded, and it was dark.  It was ancient and largely unknown.  And it was waiting.    The eldest of the trees held court there, squatting like a bloated tyrant with a tanglewood crown and grasping miser’s fingers raking the earth around its corpulent trunk.   Healthy things did not grow there, wholesome plants did not flourish.   Birds did not roost in the trees of that grove, not the wise old birds anyway.  Ravens shunned it.   Foolish fledgeling songbirds who fluttered into the tyrant’s little realm did not flutter out again.   Insects and crawling things flourished and dug and bred greedily in the stinking moisture of the hollows of that grove.An approaching light, flimsy and weak.   Two men picked their way through the night, a lantern held aloft by the older of the two.“It is much further?” said the younger, a strong young man in his twenties, broad shouldered beneath his roughspun jacket.   His voice carried the barely masked complaint of someone who had…

Apocalypse

I’m working on the background for a new fantasy horror setting and the following idea interrupted me this morning:

Every generation produces zealots who believe that they are living in the End Times.
At midnight of June 1st 1660 the bells of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican began to ring by themselves, a long and melancholy peal of bells that lasted for five minutes. As they stopped, every single church bell in Christendom tolled a single note in response.
Some saw this as a miraculous sign of God’s providence. Some saw this as a warning of God’s wrath. The next few years became a time of turmoil and wonder.
Wars began and ended and began again along once stable borders. Civil uprisings occurred and revolutionary sentiments were widespread.
Reports of miracles and healings were heard from far off places and sometimes holy shrines nearer at hand. Tales of the rise of witchcraft and dark sorcery haunted the fears of those who would listen. Ghosts and apparitions were rumoured to appe…

Beautiful Stranger

When I first became immortal I assumed it would be like being part of an exclusive club of wise and mysterious beings, roaming the earth like gods and angels.  It really isn’t.   There aren’t many of us but we keep bumping into each other.   The world becomes a dull party.  You know their jokes, stories, habits and hang ups.   One minute you’re sitting on a beach watching the sun set and the next some bastard’s bitching about some merchant from Thebes who stiffed him over an amphora of bad wine.    Most of us become solitary.  All of us become bad company.Not youHah.  Maybe.    I’ve been alone too long and sometimes I need to make contact.   Not with another immortal though.    Tedious bunch, like I said.  And the ones that aren’t tedious are too damned dangerous.   I warned you about those didn’t I?Scared me silly.   I’ve been looking out for Them ever since.They’re too good at hiding.  I’m putting you at risk by talking to you, I should go.Please don’t.  I want to learn more about y…

(Old) School’s In For Summer

I recently discovered Lamentations of the Flame Princess mainly due to seeing it mentioned all over the Internet as something worthy of note – people talked about its high production values, innovation, boundary pushing etc and I thought I’’d see what all the fuss was about.


The basic rules are available for free online in an art-free version (which is a shame – the art is splendidly evocative of the feel intended by the author) and I will be honest and say that when I first read through the rules I was underwhelmed.   Yes it was an old school D&D clone, laid out very well, clearly explained and with some nice rule tweaks to tidy things up --- but it didn’t seem to be anything special.   I was a bit nonplussed as to what all the fuss was about.     Then I saw a few reviews on YouTube – IvanMike and QuestingBeast do a lot of old school gaming posts and reviewed a number of LotFP’s products – and it dawned on me that the strength of the game isn’t from the system but from the advent…